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NYT: No Bias, The News Is Pro-Obama

From another Obama conquest at the New York Times:

Obama Overseas! In Presidential Mode! Back Home, It’s McCain in a Golf Cart.

Published: July 23, 2008

It wasn’t a television blackout of John McCain; it was worse: split-screen contrasts that at times made it seem as if Barack Obama was on a state visit while back home his opponent chafed at the perks and privileges of an incumbent commander in chief.

On Tuesday, Mr. McCain held a town hall-style meeting in Rochester, N.H. In the shadow of the ancient Temple of Hercules in Amman, Jordan, Mr. Obama solemnly described his vision for peace in the region while standing at a lectern, the Middle East sprawling out behind him. Reporters were cordoned in front of him like the White House press corps — except that an audio snag kept their questions inaudible.

All three cable news networks carried Mr. Obama’s news conference live and in full. They showed only parts of Mr. McCain’s forum and focused mostly on his reaction to Mr. Obama’s statements. Even Fox News broke away from Mr. McCain midevent to cover the rescue of a bear cub wounded in a California fire and nicknamed Lil’ Smokey.

Mr. McCain’s surrogates complained bitterly about the Obama news blitz; on Tuesday the McCain campaign put out a Web video mocking reporters’ doting coverage with a montage of anchors’ gauzy looks and glowing praise set to the tune of the Frankie Valli hit “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”

But it’s not pro-Obama bias in the news media that’s driving the effusion of coverage, it’s the news: Mr. Obama’s weeklong tour of war zones and foreign capitals is noteworthy because it is so unusual to see a presidential candidate act so presidential overseas. Mr. Obama looks supremely confident and at home talking to generals and heads of state, so much so that some viewers may find the pose presumptuous — as if Mr. Obama believes that not only is his official nomination at the Democratic convention in August a mere formality, so is the November election.

All three network anchors traveled overseas for one-on-one interviews with Mr. Obama, and that, too, irked the McCain campaign…

Mr. Obama’s stops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Jordan provided arresting video of the candidate being mobbed by American troops, surveying terrain by helicopter alongside Gen. David H. Petraeus and holding talks with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq and King Abdullah of Jordan. When posing for an official photograph with a foreign leader, Mr. Obama often places his hand paternally on the other man’s arm, subliminally signaling that though a visitor, he is the real host of the meeting.

Touring ruins of the Citadel in Amman, Mr. Obama strode confidently with his jacket crooked over his shoulder in classic Kennedy style. He also practiced statesmanly restraint, telling reporters in Amman that he wouldn’t criticize his opponent while abroad

McCain aides haven’t been nearly as creative on his behalf: their stagecraft has been notably unflattering to the candidate. While Mr. Obama was shown striding across military tarmacs and inspecting troops standing at attention, Mr. McCain on Monday was seen being driven around in a golf cart by former President George Bush in the resort town of Kennebunkport, Me. Later, the two men spoke to reporters side by side at a waterfront, and they looked more like fellow members of a Past Presidents’ Club than a party elder passing the torch to his political heir.

CNN even contrasted how the two candidates pronounce Pakistan. (Mr. Obama favors the more international Pahk-ee-stahn; Mr. McCain keeps the a’s flat.) …

Well, it’s nice to see them admit their overwhelming bias.

Except they didn’t.

(Thanks to news maven BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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